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[377] which would be nerved with the desperation of men fighting for liberty, and would deprive this slandered race of the praise to be acquired in a bold struggle for their dearest rights. Here Providence had given to them a chance to complete their emancipation from slavery; and, if he should do any thing to deny them that chance, he would be injuring the cause of the Union arms. He would not, therefore, do any thing to take away from General Dix this great reserved force, as he had no doubt it would prove, if the General would but use it. If the fortress was attacked, the blacks would fight to preserve their freedom, and they are needed. If any thing could strengthen his previous opinions on this point, it would be just such facts as were narrated in the letters he had received. If the negroes had wives and children to fight for, in addition to their freedom, they would not show themselves insensible to the motives which have inspired all other races. He would welcome every blow of theirs which might at once carry succor to a patriot, death to a traitor, renewed life to their own veins, and victory to our flag. Contemplating, however, the probability of their removal, the Northern States were of all places the worst possible to select for an asylum. These poor people were inhabitants of a Southern climate, and were subject to needs and to peculiarities of physical constitution accordingly. Where, then, was the prudence or humanity of subjecting them to the rigors of a Northern sky in the winter season, with the moral certainty of inflicting extreme suffering, resulting probably in disease and death. If their removal were definitely determined upon, he would suggest for the asylum some Union foothold in the South, as Hilton Head, where they could retain their health, be trained as soldiers, and their labor made available. For them to come North would be for them to come as paupers and sufferers to a strange land, as a swarm of houseless wanderers migrating without a purpose to a busy community, where they would be incapable of self-help; a course certain to demoralize themselves and endanger others. Such a course would be a handle to all traitors, and to all persons evilly disposed: we should be told that the experiment had been tried, and failed; that the negroes had proved worthless, and incapable

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